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Radiotherapy, imaging, and metrology

Image-guided radiation therapy: toward lower doses

​A method for generating personalized calculations of the doses received by individual patients during image-guided radiation therapy was developed in research conducted under the AID-IGRT project, backed by France's national research agency (ANR). Ultimately, the method will help improve medical imaging protocols and reduce doses.

Published on 5 October 2017

The use of embedded imaging systems to accurately position patients before radiation therapy treatment has received increasing attention. The overall dose received by patients during treatment is often poorly calculated and, therefore, underestimated. To mitigate radiation-related risks to patients, List developed experimental digital tools for accurately assessing—and reducing—the doses received during treatment. The advance was achieved in research conducted under the ANR-backed AID-IGRT project.

The researchers began by measuring the doses delivered with calibrated dosimeters on anthropomorphic phantoms representing a standard patient's morphology. A prototype of the 3D calculation software was then developed. The software, designed to determine the doses delivered by embedded imaging systems, provides a calculation of the dose received by each of the patient's organs. The calculation is personalized according to the patient's morphology and the characteristics of the treatment protocol.

The software, which leverages Monte Carlo* simulation, was validated at the Doseo platform and presented to France's nuclear safety board. The ultimate goal is to implement the software in clinical settings to give healthcare professionals the first-ever accurate delivered-dose calculation system, giving them the tools they need to reduce doses without compromising on image quality.

*Monte Carlo methods are algorithms that use probabilistic techniques to obtain numerical results.

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